Utah man faces felony charge after leaving disabled adult son on side of I-215

Posted at 5:21 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 23:20:31-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- A Utah man has been charged with one count of aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult after he allegedly left his adopted adult son, who functions at the level of 2-year-old, on the side of I-215.

According to an indictment filed Tuesday, things began on December 6 of 2017 when Utah Highway Patrol responded to a call about a male standing on the shoulder of I-215 in Salt Lake County.

A trooper responded and found the man, who was standing on the road and looking as if he was waiting for a chance to cross safely. The man told police his father is Steven Warner Cuff, and that his father had dropped him off at that location.

Troopers went to Cuff's address and found no one home. They called Cuff, and said he "did not sound concerned for [Victim] and stated he'd be there shortly."

The man arrived home and told police the 36-year-old victim is his adopted son and that the man has the mentality of a 2-year-old.

"Defendant Cuff admitted that he intentionally dropped [Victim] off on the freeway and left him there," a trooper wrote in a statement of probable cause. "Defendant Cuff stated that he and his wife no longer want [Victim] and also stated that [Victim] does not know how to cross the road safely."

The indictment alleges that Cuff did not indicate he "had any intention" of going back and picking up the [victim] and again stated he "didn't want [Victim]."

Medical personnel evaluated the victim and found he has severe intellectual disabilities and is unable to provide for his own safety.

A warrant was issued Tuesday for Cuff's arrest. He is charged with one count of aggravated abuse of a disabled or elder adult, which is a second-degree felony.